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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Kicker nears NFL dream in Senior Bowl

    All the excitement in Nick Folk’s trip to the Senior Bowl – his hotel lobby flooded with NFL head coaches, assistants, general managers and scouts tugging future draft picks every which way, practice fields abuzz with clicking stopwatches and scribbling pens – is done.

    Now, the former Arizona kicker is ready to show a national television audience he deserves to play on the next level.

    “”Nothing crazy going on right now,”” said Folk in a phone interview yesterday. “”Just doing this stuff and seeing what happens down the road.””

    Folk has spent the past four days in Mobile, Ala., along with 100 prospects for the April 28-29 NFL draft, performing in a flurry of workouts before league personnel.

    The actual game, scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow on the NFL Network, has already become a formality for many of the athletes, Folk said, because most of the prying eyes have gotten their fill and gone home.

    “”They just want to see how you practice,”” he said. “”They’ll get the game tape (later) and watch it themselves. But the best thing for me would be a game-winner or a big, long one. … Other than that, unless I went 0-for-7, the game’s the game. It’s supposed to be more fun than anything.””

    Even Folk’s more stressful moments – packed in the lobby each day, as team representatives solicited prospects’ signatures on waiver forms and phone numbers for later interview requests – carried snippets of delight.

    Besides seeing high-profile coaches like Herm Edwards and Andy Reid stalking about, Folk got an unexpected reunion with Minnesota Vikings special-teams coach Brian Murphy.

    Murphy had the same position with Wisconsin when the Badgers defeated the Wildcats 9-7 Sept. 18, 2004, thanks in part to Folk’s missed 47-yard field goal.

    “”We just talked and he asked a few questions,”” Folk said. “”It was a good conversation for about 20 minutes. It was fun. He was a good guy.””

    Because he’s a kicker, Folk said he thinks his experience has been less mentally demanding than for prospects at other positions competing against more athletes.

    Colorado’s Mason Crosby is the only other kicker attending the Senior Bowl, and Folk said the two have remained cordial despite how few players at their position get drafted.

    “”I know we’re at the lower end of peoples’ boards and what not, but more games are

    being decided by three points,”” Folk said. “”I know more teams are in need of kickers. I’ll see how it plays out with the draft.””

    Folk said he believes he’s done well in Mobile but realizes it’s possible he won’t make a team until after the draft as a free agent.

    He hopes to bolster his stock with individual workouts with teams before and after he attends the NFL Scouting Combine Feb. 21-27 in Indianapolis. He expects to work out with the Cleveland Browns sometime next week.

    “”You can’t figure much out right now,”” Folk said. “”Who knows what’s going to happen before you in the draft?””

    Okla. ‘Bug’ to spread to Arizona football

    Wide receiver William ‘Bug’ Wright became the Wildcats’ 15th verbal commitment Sunday after visiting the UA campus, according to goazcats.com, a recruiting Web site on the Rivals network.

    Wright excelled in his senior season at Pauls Valley (Okla.) High School, lining up primarily in the shotgun as a quarterback but also playing at wideout and returning kicks.

    He threw for 671 yards and six touchdowns, rushed for 706 yards and 10 scores and averaged 29.0 yards on three receptions.

    The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Wright played eight-man football his sophomore and junior seasons at Fox High School.

    Attempts yesterday to reach Wright and Pauls Valley head coach Mike Terry were unsuccessful.

    Verbal commitments are non-binding until athletes sign national letters-of-intent Feb. 7.

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